John Redwood today pontificates on the perils, as he views it, of devolution – too much of which, he states, undermines the UK. Writing on the subject of devolution to Scotland, he states:
I wanted the parties of the Union last year to say to Scotland ” We would like you to stay. You are most welcome as part of our joint country. We only want volunteers in our union, so of course you are free to leave on fair terms if that is your wish. You know what the union is like. We wish to keep it broadly the same”.
Just who is this ‘We’? Just what is this ‘Our’? Since when was the decision whether Scotland should be granted the opportunity of seceding from the United Kingdom purely that of yours and your fellow politicians? Since when has the United Kingdom been ‘your’ joint country?
In the use of ‘We’ and ‘Our’, Redwood alludes to the belief that Parliament is sovereign, that only Parliament has the right to make decisions which affect those that politicians are meant to serve. No doubt Redwood may reply that his use of those two words was because the political parties were, metaphorically, speaking on behalf of the people – to which one has to ask Redwood just when were the people asked for their opinion; and as they weren’t, just how can he and others speak on their behalf?
Redwood – and those politicians like him – only illustrate, with their belief in parliamentary sovereignty, coupled with representative democracy, why there is a growing divide twixt the electorate and our political class. It is becoming more obvious by the day that people are beginning to resent being dictated to; hence the clamour for more say over their lives – and Redwood also needs to realise that the lives in question are not his property to decide.
The basis of all decisions that politicians take in our name is one of ‘one size fits all’ and Redwood and his ilk need to accept that one size does not fit all – the priorities of the Northeast are different to those of the Southeast, or any other area of the United Kingdom.
In the House of Commons politicians reserve the right to make decisions against the wishes of their party leader as a matter of personal conscience and choice. Where a ruling elite enjoy different and better privileges to the common man on matters of personal conscience and choice, then there can only exist a form of dictatorship – be that dictatorship one elected, or not.
If John Redwood cares to research the root of the word democracy, one which he is fond of using, he will find it derives from a combination of the Greek words for people and power; consequently, erudite man that he purports to be, he can only accept it is the people that are sovereign, not Parliament.
A link to this article has been posted in the comments section of Redwood’s article with the question: just who do you think you are and what makes you so different from your fellow man?